Word on the street is that microcurrent therapy is the latest and greatest beauty treatment that can smooth your thighs, slim your waistline, and tone your face all without the pain, downtime, cost and general inconvenience of other more conventional procedures.
The technology has been around for a long time (since at least 1748) but it was mostly used in a medical setting for treating pain and musculoskeletal disorders. Although there’s a lot of excitement about its cosmetic application, the reality is that there just haven’t been many studies on the subject and many doctors don’t think the scientifically proven benefits of microcurrent therapy translate to cosmetic application.
A lot of times the lack of studies doesn’t mean a product doesn’t work, just that it hasn’t been studied for one reason or another. In those cases the best thing to do is to consider the information available, determine it’s credibility, and draw reasoned conclusions. That’s exactly what I set out to do in this review of microcurrent therapy for cosmetic applications.
I curated reviews from across the web, looked at existing evidence and studies (like the Engage clinical trial), and assessed the technical specs of at home microcurrent therapy devices to give you all the information you need to make an informed decision about microcurrent therapy.
What Is Microcurrent Therapy | Review of the Technology & Science
To put it simply, microcurrent therapy is the idea that muscles can be stimulated and toned when low level electrical currents are applied directly to the skin. Elle Magazine calls it a “personal trainer” for your face.
There’ve been a lot of studies on the use of microcurrent therapy since the tech first emerged, and one virtually universal truth has emerged: Microcurrent therapy works, but only within certain strict parameters.
We’ve narrowed down three important parameters for getting results.
The Amount of Charge
The first modern study on microcurrent therapy found that results were achieved only between 10 μA and 1000 μA. That same study found a 500 % increase in the rate of ATP in cells. This directly correlates to increased protein synthesis, which for our purposes translates to improved skin tone and firmness. Anything outside that range does nothing, or worse, does damage. When shopping or booking services, look for treatments or devices that operate between 10 μA and 1000 μA (more on that below).
As with any good beauty regimen, consistency is key. The Engage clinical trial showed significant improvement in baseline facial wrinkles, as well as tone and contour, but only after 30 days. This is one of the major factors we considered when reading other microcurrent therapy reviews.
Finally, a critical factor that affects results is the actual application of the device to the treatment area. According to Elle “Depending on where the probes are placed, either above the origin or insertion point of a muscle, and how many seconds they’re held there, users can smooth a furrowed area by stretching the muscle or add lift by shortening the muscle.” As we’ll show you below, if you aren’t going to a professional then the best way to make the most of a DIY microcurrent treatment is to follow a tutorial by someone who knows what they’re doing.
As always, your mileage may vary. Everyone is different and what works for one person’s skin may not work for another.
Microcurrent Therapy Professional & DIY Devices
Professional machines like this Nue Fusion 200 Microcurrent Machine made by the Skin for Life Institute are marketed for non-surgical facelifts. They can only be purchased by licensed professionals, who also have to complete a training session on device use. According to an “industry insider“, J Lo bought a similar professional CACI Ultra machine for $23000!